Following two studio full-lengths, Collapse In Agony in 2015, and 2018’s Allegory Of Death, the Polish mystic Death Metal band Symbolical return with a new three-track EP Igne, the first in a series of three, each of which will all have three tracks, and all nine tracks will have a music video. The two subsequent EPs should be released sometime in 2022.
Symbolical: Igne (Self-release)
Release Date: 25 December 2021
Words: Jools Green
As on Symbolical’s previous album, Igne features Pawel “Cymer” Cymerman on guitars and vocals, Konrad “Sloq” Słoczyński on guitars, Dariusz “Daray” Brzozowski (Dimmu Borgir (live), Vesania, ex-Vader drummer) on drums, and Łukasz “Lukas” Matyja on bass. All music was composed by Cymer, and arranged by Symbolical, while Karol “Charles” Goździk wrote all lyrics.
Sound-wise, Igne is a continuation of that found on their previous full-lengths, and the storyline tells the tale of Jesus’ birth, but not as popularly accepted. In Igne, Mary gives birth to Jesus the Antichrist and condemns the world to destruction. I do love a good twist to a tale, and this one definitely appeals to me.
“We wanted to portray the essence of Symbolical in a three-song formula,” the band said of this new release approach to their work. “Rage and beauty are our favourite feelings, and we love to mess around with our listener’s feelings. We think that this EP will surprise many people.”
Igne might only be three tracks, but it spans a weighty twenty-four minutes with a sound that packs an equally weighty punch. Opening track The Call of Nazareth, after a haunting eerie opener, storms in with a meld of punchy riffs and pounding drum work, which together have a brutal crushing quality, alongside haunting leadwork. The riffs intensify as the harsh vocal delivery arrives. It pares back midway briefly to focus on the magnificent haunting leadwork with an equally haunting atmospheric closer, a superb piece.
The high standards of the opener are maintained by the next offering, the slower, crushing heavyweight Epiphany and Revival. It’s eerily hypnotic and magnificently engaging, again with haunting leads coursing over the crushing undercurrent and a brief haunting drop away in the second half.
The final offering Disciple Of Death is an epic beast at twice the duration of its predecessors, which after middle eastern Doumbek style drumming and chanting, surges into haunting soaring leads and flits between chugging and spiralling riffs. The raw vocals cut through with dynamic precision, ebbing back from time to time across the duration to create passages of beautifully haunting leadwork, followed by waves of intensity, keeping the sound interesting throughout. The riffs at the midpoint take on a hypnotic repeating “middle eastern flavour”, with the final minute or so consisting of eerie backmasking and reversed music, adding a final interesting and evocative touch. This track encapsulates beauty and brutality in equal measure.
The classically styled cover art for Igne is William Blake’s painting Judas Betrays Him c.1803–5.
The release is available for pre-order now and will be available in the following formats: digital, digipak, jewel case and white vinyl (available from January / February 2022). For more information, visit symbolical.bandcamp.com/album/symbolical-igne
Two of the three planned music videos are available for this EP so far Disciple of Death and The Call of Nazareth.